People love a good growth story. Often it's the reward of participating in what could possibly be the next "big thing." But sometimes, it just comes down to the sound principle that growth carries the momentum of expanding profitability along with it. In the case for growth investing, identifying the undeniable trend is often the most important aspect of finding the right company. The following five companies offer in my opinion, some of the greatest growth opportunities in the coming decade:
- Corning (NYSE:GLW). Can there really be growth in a glass manufacturer? Yes there can, and for this specialized glass maker, there likely will be. On Wednesday, Corning's stock jumped 7% on the surprise of beating the analysts' expectations on both the top and bottom line. Even as its largest division in display technologies struggled as anticipated, Corning found itself growing because it had laid its business foundation in a diversified portfolio of growing trends. Fiber-optic cables for telecommunications, environmental sciences, and mobile device glass through the Gorilla Glass brand have all been undergoing noticeable growth trends. Yet with the rolling out of glass specially tailored for OLED technology and photovoltaic modules, Corning is easily setting itself up for reinvigorating its primary line and branching out even further. With aspirations to be actively involved in our daily lives, Corning's dream may be closer around the corner than people realize.
- Solazyme (SZYM). Skeptics abound as this renewable oil maker stands closely tied to the negative connotations of biofuels and algae. But take a step back to see the bigger picture, and the technology that this company brings to the table is already proving itself to be a disruptive game-changer to the way industry is run. Using a single piece of industrial equipment, the company is able to use its alchemy to turn low-cost sugars into oils used in everything from soaps, to jet fuel, to cosmetics, and even to food. With the ability to cost-effectively create tailored oils that companies like Monsanto (NYSE:MON) and Syngenta (NYSE:SYT) have been trying to do for years, Solazyme's proven platform has already begun to enter into the ramp-up phase of its commercial production. Armed with the ability to create alternatives and enhanced versions of plant oils, animal fats, and petroleum, Solazyme is well on its way to claim valuable intellectual property in a relatively untapped field. Think it can't compete against oil? With the cost of production noted at $3.44/gallon and the ability to create barrels worth $200-600 each, the company has many misconceptions that investors should familiarize themselves with first before they flex their biased opinions.
- EnerNOC (NASDAQ:ENOC). As the world becomes heavily focused on energy savings for the future, EnerNOC will play an increasing role in developing a truly smart energy grid. With the ability to dim the lights during peak hours for thousands of businesses under its care, EnerNOC makes money as its clients make money. By becoming a value-added proposition in itself, EnerNOC's win-win scenario only increases as energy prices continue to rise. Already a leader in a new field, EnerNOC's operation of efficiency continues to gain prominence as more businesses begin to recognize the economic benefits of being environmentally friendly.
- Chart Industries (NASDAQ:GTLS). As a leader in the gas-to-liquids systems market, Chart Industry's long-term demand arises from the abundance of cheap natural gas in America. The imbalance in prices from this country to the next also makes for a compelling trade story. Yet natural gas remains a fuel source with much difficulties in transportation. Natural gas is heavily reliant on compression technologies, such as those provided by Chart Industries. Liquid natural gas for instance, needs to remain cryogenically frozen. And as the leader when it comes to manufacturing everything from LNG storage tanks to the tanks on vehicles, Chart is sure to have a significant footprint throughout the process.
Disclosure: I am long SZYM, GLW.